On Friday—that’s 24 hours ago for those of you with short memories—President Trump insisted that he had no hard feelings toward Paul Ryan. Ryan had worked hard on the health care bill, and it was just bad luck that it failed. In fact, it was really the fault of the Democrats, who hadn’t provided a single vote. Not one!
However, experienced Trump watchers noticed a brief aside: he mentioned that there were a few things he would have done differently—but he wasn’t going to talk about that. This is Trump code for “I’m not to blame and I won’t be able to bottle up my whining for long. I definitely will talk about these things eventually.”
So how long would Trump be able to hold his tongue? A few days? A whole week? Nope. About 18 hours, it turned out:
Watch @JudgeJeanine on @FoxNews tonight at 9:00 P.M.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 25, 2017
And here’s what Jeanine Pirro said a few hours after that on her Fox News program:
“Paul Ryan needs to step down as speaker of the house.The reason? He failed to deliver the votes on his healthcare bill.” #openingstatement pic.twitter.com/75WbI4mcYX
— Jeanine Pirro (@JudgeJeanine) March 26, 2017
What a guy. Within 24 hours Trump is sticking a shiv in Paul Ryan’s back without even a pretense of keeping it private. He doesn’t have the guts to tell Ryan to his face, so instead he uses a TV show to pass along the message.
The real message, of course, is that no one should ever work with Trump. He’ll throw you under the bus at the first hint that he needs someone to take the blame for something that went awry. And maybe Ryan should take him up on this. When John Boehner retired and Kevin McCarthy flamed out, Republicans were literally left with no plausible candidates for Speaker who were acceptable to all factions of the party. Ryan was the only one who came close, so if he quits the GOP is in for some real chaos. That’s just what they need as they try to get a budget in place and start work on a hugely complex tax cut for the rich.